Hammondville reflects on Centenary of Armistice

HammondCare residents, staff and special guests took time last week to reflect on the legacy of World War I and the sacrifices made by veterans.

November 11, 2018, marked 100 years since the first Armistice Day saw a beginning to the end of the Great War. Many older Australians were born into a nation forever changed by Australia’s involvement in WWI.

To commemorate this important anniversary, HammondCare hosted a week of events in Hammondville from November 5-9 with the support of the NSW Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

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​​​​Pictured: The Bond House dining room was full to capacity as nearly 100 hammondCare residents and special guests gathered for the memorial service.

HammondCare Head of Pastoral Care and Volunteer Services, the Reverend Andrew Nixon, said the week brought together the local community and reflect on a significant historical milestone.

“Remembrance Day is a recognition of Australians who have served, and continue to do so, in many theatres of war. Our Defence Forces have also played significant roles in peacekeeping missions and in response to disasters in Australia and beyond,” Mr Nixon said.

“It’s important to remember that we are a society of people who depend on each other, that we each have a role to play as citizens of the world, and that peace and freedom is something we can never take for granted.”

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​​​​Pictured: Reverend Tim Booker, former Chaplain to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, delivered the commemorative address.

Mr Nixon, a Royal Australian Navy Reserve chaplain, said the recent Invictus Games had reminded Australians of the physical and mental sacrifices made by servicemen and women to this day.

The historic Bond House aged care home featured an evolving art exhibition and memorabilia display throughout the week, including themes such as propaganda and wartime romance. Special daily events included vintage care rides, an arts workshop and a swing band as residents were invited to reminisce on bygone eras.

Special guests at the Memorial Service on Friday, November 9, included Australian Army representatives from Holsworthy barracks, local veterans and Reverend Tim Booker, a former chaplain to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment.

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​​​​Pictured: Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons and Hammondville physiotherapist Minh Anh Cao-Tran helped judge the poppy-themed dessert competition. 

Residents and staff shared their wartime memories and reflections via video, and 86-year-old Keith Graham – who lives with dementia – performed a moving rendition of A Scottish Soldier.

The week concluded with an Armistice High Tea, during which special guest Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons spoke on the significance of the anniversary and helped judge a themed cake competition.
HammondCare would like to thank the NSW Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and recognise the efforts of organisers including Peter Archer, Usha Maran, Rhonda Marten, Grant Murray, Adrianna Samasoni, Pam Schofield, Mary Skuse, Debbie Webster and all the volunteers at Hammondville.